random conversations with Nong View (my friend’s daughter) this afternoon

“What did you do at school today?”
No response.
“Did you sing songs?”
“No, we didn’t sing any songs.”
“Did you practice -” (she didn’t let me finish my sentence)
“No, we didn’t practice anything.”
“Did you eat lunch?”
“Yes.”
“Did you eat a snack?”
“No. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don’t.”
“Did you play any games?”
“No, we didn’t play any games.”
“What did you do today? Did your teachers teach you anything?”
“Yes, they taught us today.”
“What did they teach you?”
“We practiced ‘goh gai, khoh khai…” (the alphabet in Thai)

A little while later…
“Who gave you those rings?” (she was wearing five coloured, plastic rings on both hands)
“My friend gave them to me.”
“How many do you have?” “One, two, three, four, five.”
“This one is gold, right?”
“A-huh.”
“And these two are silver, right?”
“Yeah.”
“What’s this one?”
“It’s a pearl.”
“And that one?”
“A ruby.”

I realise that these conversations are totally not interesting, however they were fun for me and they remind me how time changes things – how I’ve adjusted and how people have gotten to know me.

I’ve known View since she was 1 and from the first day I knew her until she was about 3 years old she would look at me and start crying and run to her Mom or some other relative standing or sitting nearby. Somewhere along the way she decided I was safe and a “normal” part of her life. She stopped calling me “palang” (Thai-yai-ised Thai word for foreigner) and started calling me “Paa Rut” (equivalent to “Aunty” and my Thai-yai name). Now she sits with me, takes my hand and will talk with me. And be naughty. She has a strong mischievous streak.

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